—about fifty years ago and today.
In January of 1972, I was designing the graphics for a plastic container to hold mealworms – packed with thir diet of cornmeal, to be sold to ”bait” fishermen. (Dried mealworms were and are sold as pet food and chicken feed.) But Mighty Mealys were prooduced to a larger size and sold “alive”! The printed promo material was for the bait shop owners. But they learned quickly to empty each package into a large glass container. (*If the product didn’t sell quickly, the shop would have been crawling). For a sale, the mealworms with their cornmeal were then scooped out and counted and put into the Mighty Mealys plastic containers.
I still have one to show here. It is a fairlly stiff plastic and there are tiny pin holes around the lid for oxygen. The container’s instructions says: to keep the packages of 50 or 100 mealworms out of the sun or heat and for longer life add a water source, such as an apple or a carrot.
I wrote of this project, here in 2011 (see: Geezers’ Gallery Packaging Worms) .
My report then, told how the sample package with the product inside — was left for too many days and the *mealworms ate their way out of the plastic container.
Back then, we didn’t know that today there would be three swirling islands of plastics in the Pacific Ocean – each the size of Texas and giant walls of plastic trash – waiting in recycling warehouses and collecting on remote Easter Island’s beaches.
The plastics, huge to microscopic, are difficult to collect and impossible to melt, bury or burn.
Just about a month ago, in the San Francisco Chronicle of 12−22−19, I saw this report that Stanford University had recently discovered that mealworms eat plastic.
Now, with one of the biggest trash problems on earth — how can we cover our problem with these critters that morph into beetles to fly off to a tastier diet in cornfields?
Their excrement is only partially organic. There are chemicals from the plastic in the droppings that are small enough to blow away. The report doesn’t explain how this research can affect the problem.
On 1−10−20, PBS’s KQED presented an hour on plastics where it was said that a bacteria might dine on the chemicals that are in plastics. And — will they be good bacteria or — ?
The PBS report told of highway surfaces made from one kind of recycled plastic because of it’s long life, but that use isn’t enough to make any difference as re-use. Also footwear has re-used selected plastics. It is the 10 ft. walls of mixed plastic trash that is collecting on streets and floating in the seas.
Boycott of products sold in plastics? Bring your own containers?
Make the purchaser responsible? Make the producers responsible?
Develop an organic, quickly degradable material to replace plastic?
The report showed a residual from beer-making that produced a plastic-like material that can even be eaten.
Some solutions are needed, SOON !
More, from then—
This was the time that the US marketplace received a new kind of worldwide product from various pharmaceutical laboratories.
I was freelancing at that same time (1969 to 1974) with a small art studio (graphics*) in the Wharfside Building (680 Beach Street, SF). Our location was next to the offices of Klemptner Casey, a pharmaceutical advertising agency with Robert Buechert as Creative Director. Our group was able to be their art service for most of their clients’ needs (as well as our other accounts in San Francisco).
KC had Syntex Labs as their client, which had recently won approval of one of the first oral pregnancy contraceptives. The “pill” became very controversial but it was also the time of “women’s liberation era” in the USA.
Some worried about side effects — some objected that the oral contraceptive would prevent a “natural event”. Up to 1973 (Roe vs. Wade) untold numbers of females of all ages in the USA were dying from amateur procedures to stop pregnancies. Even today, the U.S. ranks far behind other industrialized nations in maternal mortality. I didn’t have statistics when I questioned my ethic on working on this product– but I felt that the pill would protect women and its promotion would not be a mistake.
The launch of the Syntex’s “Norinyl 1−80” and “Norinyl 1 – 50”— required medical journal ads, brochures, patient aid booklets, packaging and more.
The 8‑panel (two panels were prescribing Information) brochure, shown below, had a two-page photo. It was a very expensive re-creation of a 1934 laboratory. I never knew the photographer or the team that set up the room. (There is one error – something not accurate for the date of the fake laboratory.) The brochure, launching the product, was the complete story of the development of the oral contraceptive. The Mexican barbasco yam was the basis of the “pill” that changed many lifestyles.
(Above, the tiny error in the re-created laboratory was the two “grounded” electrical sockets – below the white jacket hanging on the wall).
I show the packaging for Syntex’s Brevicon 28-day tablets. My original subtle colors, had to be changed to brighter colors because the packaging was changed to blue, instead of white. The floral illustration needed to be brighter.
Pharmaceutical labs and physicians were teaching women of reproductive age how to use their 28-day product each month. The labs couldn’t package the pills loosely in large quantities – – each pill for the month had to be punched out in sequence from a card with a thin foil backing. The style of the dispensers, that held the cards, varied from one “brand” of pill to the next.
Promoting the style of the plastic dispenser was emphasized to the Syntex product representatives that called on the physicians who would write the prescriptions for their patients.
Here are 10 of 72 images from a slide presentation to Brevicon reps promoting Brevicon and the pill holder — in comparison to competing brands.
(Why did I only show men as doctors? My mother had a woman doctor, way back when I was born !)
The Wallette was a discreet cover for the pill dispenser. For the 5‑view layout, I accidentally rendered one of the female hands darker than the others. It was a lucky error because that caused a discussion to choose, for this file folder, a hand-model with a tan– to suggest patients were other than white females.
In 1974, Syntex and other medical products moved from Klemptner Casey to J. Walter Thompson and later from JWT to an agency named Barnum Communications (with Bob Buechert at each move).
In 1975, I began free-lancing at Barnum Communications (owner Jim Barnum was of the circus family). JWT had filed legal action for moving Syntex products to his agency, newly located at 560 Pacific Avenue, SF.
Time went by, there were even “law-suit” ballads composed by the musically inclined who worked at Barnum Communications. Finally JWT settled. The case was dropped when Mr. Barnum agreed to “cease and desist working in the West”. That left about seven of the agency founders to inherit all of the clients.
1977 there was a move to 901 Battery Street with the new name Vicom Associates. After another move to One Lombard Street, a few years passed and it was acquired by Foote, Cone & Belding Healthcare as Vicom / FCB.
Shown below: Two sections, of a 6‑page, 1992 Vicom / FCB Anniversary Party Report. I didn’t know of these parties, but was asked to illustrate this one. (My illustration of “The VICOM Culture” was flopped horizontally before printing, causing the “initial V” to look strange. The last three show: my window, my workspace and my parking space on the roof (just my car, another week-end deadline).
One Lombard was my last San Francisco location.
( Follow0up: So how many other products, housed in plastic, did I promote? I’ll have to check back. But who even knew at that time, that one-use-plastics were piling up?)
Geezer Photo Get-Together 2019
Starting A Geezer Yearbook Collection
This year, for many reasons, our usual October picnic as viewed (“Gatherings” in the list at the left) was discontinued. To keep a meeting going, I have reached out to our members by email and asked for contributions to this new “Photo Gathering”. I wasn’t able to give everyone enough time to find a photo and write a few words, but I am happy to show this collection which numbers the same amount as we had at the last picnic.
Note: It just shows you—I requested, of a creative group, a “Mug Shot” from the 1970s or 1980s — and what did I get? The first responses: a present day photo, two in front of a laundry?, two sketches, multiple photos! OK. I followed their lead, and I changed my “mug shot” to show myself at the drawing board. The couple of sentences requested also became better than I had imagined.
1‑Allen, Jack In 1966, San Francisco magazine published this picture of me in their September issue, Volume 8, No. 9 — crediting me for my cover photo showing a couple in the early morning hours on Hotaling Place.
2‑Barnes, Brian Trouble finding stuff that is sharp and presentable. Seventies material is almost all on 35mm slide. This was taken around 1987 at Walter Swarthout’s studio for a Gallo shoot when I was at Hal Riney. I had my left forearm propped on the shoulder of a fly fisherman male model who I cropped out for your purpose. Walt had us ‘horse around ‘afterward and he captured this. Good times.
3‑Broad, David In response to your request — this is from 1945, Frankfurt, Germany, the war had just ended and we became the Army of Occupation. After discharge I signed up as a civilian with a job as an artist. This was the Information and Education Unit — Jerome Snyder was the leading art director along with several artists who as civilians before the war were famous in New York. Needless to say it was a heady experience.
4‑Eckart, Chuck I’m still working, painting, and enjoying it. I have a large exhibition coming up at the Seager Gray Gallery during February 2020. The how will be opening on my 85th birthday. I’ll send you an announcement just before show time. Chuck
5‑Ericksen, Marc Freelancing in San Francisco was the best of the best, a dream come true, and resulted in a load of wonderful memories. The clients, the Niners, the creativity. the fun, and the wonderful Bay. We had it all!
6‑Escasany, Richard and Kenwood, Dale Richard Escasany and Dale Kenwood 1976 outside Wing Lees Electric Laundry.
7‑Fugazzotto, Joel Here’s my photo. On stage in Hollywood in the 1980s shooting a commercial with Vern Gillum and Friends.
8‑Hardgrove, John Celebrating my 75th birthday in Alsace, France. Finally retired after a 50-year career in advertising and graphic design. TV production assistant 1965 – 68: Guild,Bascom,Bonfigli. Dancer Fitzgerald Sample. 1969 – 76 Creative Director Aviva Enterprises, Peanuts character merchandise. 1977 – 2015, Owner, Creative Director, The Design Bunch, print advertising, graphic design for corporate communications, posters and package design. Currently, I’m painting commissioned watercolor dog portraits, and golf courses at home.
9‑Heil, Ross Photo from this spring — 2019 — Walnut Creek. Vice President — McCann-Erickson, San Francisco — 1972 to 1984. Account Manager — Del Monte Corporation. (Sorry, no 1970s — 1980s image available — the photostats have faded)
10-Lessig, Paul 2019, Sparks, NV. As an ‘Alumni’ of the Wyman Co.‘s Art Dept (and who in the 50’s & 60’s wasn’t) tallied-forth thru Account Executive assignments with Hoefer, Dietrick & Brown & Campbell Ewald. In 1965 joined Fromm & Sichel, Worldwide Distributors and Marketers of the Christian Brothers Wines and Brandy as International/National Sales Promotion Director; then President & CEO of its Marketing/Sales Promotion Agency in 1972. Left the association and the Advertising Industry in 1977 to pursue other career interests.
11-McKee, Gale Here is a photo of me helping an intern at Artworks in the mid-seventies.
I worked there from 1974 to 1978 as a rep and graphic designer, ( double commission!)
and then married the boss.(Don McKee) Job security… LOL ! I have been painting and showing art at various venues in Santa Rosa and Marin since 2009. My last job was not in advertising
but was the perfect job for me: designer & illustrator for Pottery Barn kids. I was there 8 years and the ONLY one who never used a computer…everything by hand!
12-Miller, Todd Oh yeah…if you got the photo I sent…t was taken by Don Hadley in my office at Botsford Ketchum in 1977.? We were working on the Olympia Beer campaign at the time. I don’t remember how he took the photo (4 photos like that in a square). I think Jill Murray may have been there. I know, it was after a lunch at Hoffman’s Grill (Don and I always ordered Chicken Fried Steak with extra gravy at Hoffman’s Grill every Friday). It was the first time Don laughed so hard beer came out his nose.(we were talking about how “creativity” works and Don asked who could define “creativity” and I said “that’s a very large bird that flies in the Andes”. I guess Don had more than his usual one glass of beer (kidding). For some reason, Don found my response very funny. Today…I would call it senility.
13-Moore, Dick During an interim between my years of commercial illustration (as Dick Moore), I was living, painting & exhibiting throughout the Hawaiian Islands for 7 years (as Richard Moore). Lovely times. (Photo, 1981)
14-Nielsen, Larry Is this too off the wall? It was taken in Marrakesh, Morocco of me and our guide.
15-Nicholson, Norman 525 Pacific Ave Group, 1970’s
16-Novy, Norma Attached is my mug shot. Hey, this is nice since I’m all the way in Medford, OR. Hank and I will be home to Marin for 2 days this Xmas to see family and friends. I hope you all are doing well. Norma
17-Nusser, Kirsten Tirsbak Photo: Early 1980s, Kirsten T. Sinclair, 901 Battery Street, SF, as in-house freelancer for FCB Healthcare. 1966 – 1970: I moved from Esbjerg, Denmark, to California, first employed by Psychology Today Magazine’s graphics department in Del Mar, and then as a designer for Simonson and Shaw Design, in LA. 1972 to present: In San Francisco, I often was a CD or an AD. With years of many and various clients, that also included my ”hands-on” and full computer graphic skills, I am now happily retired, volunteering my design experience to help non-profits and others with requests that keep me busy.
18-Oka, Jane Teiko 1954: Scholarship to California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree.
Employed as graphic designer by Patterson & Hall in San Francisco.
Received a Fulbright scholarship in 1960 to study in Japan.
1962: Began freelance career in the city with major clients and also created calendars, gift items, package design, posters, storybook and schoolbook illustrations.
Steadily working by mail with east coast clients — to get out of the house — assisted Marin County’s WildCare, and later, The Marine Mammal Center (for nineteen years) as an “outside” interest. (1968 Photo by Tom King)
19-Pratt, John After a day’s shoot with Walter Swarthout in the Seventies, he wasn’t ready to quit. He insisted I sit for him with this result.
20-Pyle, Chuck Chuck Pyle, formerly young and hungry illustrator. Currently, Old and teacher/department Chair at Academy of Art University.
21-Riney, Lee I just sent you a photo of me when I was working at Foote, Cone and then Young & Rubicam. It was taken years and years ago by Hal Riney in my Telegraph Hill studio, which cost $75 per month. We were soon to be married, and needed passport photos for our honeymoon to Europe.
As you know, I was the first of Hal’s five wives. Lee Riney
22-Rustad, Steve This was shot a few years back, on location at the Geyserville Gun Club (really, just a hipster bar. No firearm). I was directing an episode of Fermentation Road, which was part of Season Two of the YouTube series: Spoiled to Perfection.
23-Schumaker, Ward Me at the Jack Fischer Gallery for a showing of my trump Papers, last November 2018.
24-Somers, Dick Kauai, Hawaii. My wife of almost 56 years and I spend much of February and March on Kauai, almost every year. It is a place where one can truly relax.
25-Robert G. Steele Here are three photos from USAF Art Program. Many local illustrators participated in this great program from the early sixties until about 2010, traveling and painting as guests of the USAF.
1. 1993 Air Force Art Presentation at Bolling Air Force Base, DC. Rt. to left: Marc Ericsson and me, Robert Steele (SF Society of Illustrators) and Matthew Holmes (Sacramento).
2. 2006 USAF Art presentation, Andrews AFB
3. 2008 USAF Art presentation. Wash/DC 2008.
26-Stewart. Bill The photo I sent was taken in my studio at home in San Rafael in mid 80s (I think).
I was working as an art director with Botsford Constine & McCarty on the ?Olympia Beer account at that time.
27-Stitt, Jim Photo: Blair Heagerty / SFGate. Born and raised in Seattle, served in two different wars and armed forces — the Navy in WWII and the Marines in the Korean War — attended two different art schools on the G.I. Bill (including the prestigious ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena), worked as a technical illustrator for Boeing, and spent 30 years as an art director for an advertising agency in Los Angeles. I didn’t care for LA so I came to San Francisco, connecting with Hal Riney, and got a job at SF’s BBD&O as Art Director. I was offered the Spice Islands account at Dancer-Fitzgerald-Sample.
I’ve illustrated 44 of the 45 labels for Anchor Christmas Ale, a beloved annual holiday offering from the 123-year-old brewery that features both a new recipe and unique hand drawn tree every year. Handmade beers require handmade labels.
From Jim’s daughter, Janis:
Jim was interviewed in December 2019 by CBS since Fritz Maytag and Anchor Steam Brewery is being honored into the Smithsonian as one of the first microbreweries.
As you can imagine we are all proud and excited, but Papa Jim is humbled as always.
28-Sweeny, Charlie, Art Director, Cunningham & Walsh, San Francisco
29-Thompson, Ann Photo: Early ‘70s, Wharfside Building, 680 Beach Street, SF. Freelancing from 1965 to 2001 – enjoyed every assignment (Job #1 to #3,445, Whew!) and met great talents in SF’s graphics community. Since then, creating my own projects. (Photo by Tom Moulin.)
Ann is the power behind the Geezers Gallery. She does all the hard work. ph
30-Tom, Jack Selfie taken in the Grand Canyon AZ, 2019?“Born in San Francisco, now live, work and teach in Connecticut.”?” I love being a graphic designer and love teaching what I love!”
31-Young, Ron Founder and CEO Shocase, Inc. Here are three photos which span ½ a century in the adv biz. 1968-Receiving Clio. Levi’s Radio Commercial featuring the JEFFERSON AIRPLANE. Advertising Hall of Fame in NYC. Advertising Hall of Fame at Wall Street Ciprioni, NYC
AFA, AAW nor the AAF
In my 40-years in Advertising, I didn’t know of them—and they didn’t know of me.
This came to my mind when I was gathering images for the previous posted story of Jack Allen.
This ad, below, had been passed on to me for my archives and Jack hadn’t seen it for years! It was an ad from “The Joint Commission–Advertising Federation of America and the Advertising Association of the West”. Jack said it would have been in major magazines in 1965. It was of the time when advertising was a man’s career.
This 1959 photo of me, (six years earlier) celebrated in my father’s work publication, shows that a daughter had planned to create art for advertising.
There were other such daughters, I know because there were many other females who were in the graphic arts in San Francisco, when I was.
In May, of that year of the AFA & AAW ad, I had just begun my free-lance career as: Ann Thompson Graphic Design at 728 Montgomery Street, San Francisco. I can’t remember being afraid when Butte, Herrero and Hyde told me that they were dissolving their partnership and that I would be on my own. I just slid into it—as Bill Hyde offered me a drawing board to rent in his studio. If I had seen the ad, I would have suggested: “Should your child be in advertising?”
I had been on my way into this field of work, long before I knew of it.
I am writing this of my childhood as an example of how the interest and practices of young children can show their budding interest toward a very rewarding career. (I’m also including some “nostalgia” from the 1950s.) I was born a second generation San Franciscan and as a child, I was always drawing.
With simple sequence, I show my path—My fifth grade teacher had me decorating the classroom (a mural of a pioneer family with a covered wagon) (bats and ghosts and witches for Halloween) this, while other students were at their desks. I missed some lessons.
In 1951, there was a TV show, Cartoon Circus, at KRON (the local channel at the Chronicle Building) hosted by George Lemont. George would show simple strokes like an “S” for the drawing of a seal–on a large pad of paper and ask the young TV audience to send in their drawings. I arranged my seal in a circus setting with a ball in its nose. I colored my seal but made a big crayon smudge right in the middle! I cried that it was ruined and that I couldn’t send it in. My mother made me send it in anyway—and I won ! (An RCA 45RPM record player and two sets of records—and was invited to be on TV !) I brought my sister along and we appeared on the show. The Laura Scudder’s Blue Bird Products were the shows sponsor and there was a bowl of (what we called) “Corn Curls” placed in front of us. George asked us to try them. I said: ”Uuuum, they’re good”. So with my: “Ummm, they’re good” I had been advertising the show’s product, without knowing it.
A thank you letter was sent to my mother from George Lemont.
The TV cameras pointed to each set, all in a line on the San Francisco Chronicle’s main floor. This Illustration above, of the cameras at KRON, will be a surprise to all that know of Earl Thollander’s unique illustration style. (We all started, somewhere.)
The show that preceded our appearance was “Adventure Time” that showed old movie serials–a half hour chapter each weeknight. The host of that show was a popular singer with many top singles, Rusty Draper. For the TV commercial, Rusty sang about Roman Meal Bread. Rusty: “Oh it’s Roman Meal, both day and night–cereal and hotcakes, too…” This photo above shows how he looked at the time.
Most TV commercial were testimonials. Ronald Reagan cleaned his hands with Borax as a commercial for the TV’s “Death Valley Days”.
Years later, George Lemont became “Fireman Frank” featuring his puppets. My favorite was “Karl The Karrot” which was a real carrot –with “shades” on its smaller carrot nose. Its green “hair” would fly around wildly. When all became wilted and limp, new carrots would replace the old. George had many gigs and he had a syndicated comic strip, also with Karl as one of the characters.
As a new freelance artist In 1965 I was calling on the agency of Honig-Cooper & Harrington Advertising–and there was George Lemont! I told him that I had been a guest on his show–about 15 years earlier. I showed the portfolio of my work—just the real reason for my appointment—but it was a pleasure to see him.
Junior High art class introduced “posters” and the in the ninth grade, the yearbook illustrations. (In 2009, I used the dancing and 45RPM records subjects, again, for the 50-year reunion of Santa Rosa High School “The Panthers” and Montgomery High School, “The Vikings”.) I painted high school banners that hung across the halls announcing up-coming football games: “SANTA ROSA—BEAT CHICK-ALUMA !” Illustrated with scrawny chickens hanging out of garbage cans. (Nearby Petaluma was called the “Egg Basket Of The World”.)
(The artistic talent that I see from young students, today, is so much more advanced than mine. There are so many more influences—to inspire the young talents developing now.)
When I graduated from high school I was nearing my last lessons from the Famous Artists School correspondence course and my mother said, “You need to pay rent”. I said: “But, I live here!”. I had taken typing in high school, so for a time, I worked as a clerk but I kept drawing and painting at home.
During my last class at SF City College’s Advertising Department, the head the department told me of the opening for employment with Butte, Herrero and Hyde, where I learned in that one year, all I needed to be my own boss.
I joined the Art Directors and Artists Club of San Francisco (ADASF). Jack Allen was elected president of the club when I was elected the secretary. I donated three posters for their membership campaign. This close-up of my third poster shows my illustration and handwriting of the copy provided by copywriter, Larry McDermott.
In the 1950s, representatives of various paper companies would make personal calls on designers—showing papers of all colors and thicknesses – smooth and textured – but there was little to show the art studios and individual designers—how the papers would work with the various forms of printing and if the chosen stock was appropriate for embossing, folding, trimming and other effects dreamed up by a designer.
The ultimate paper samples were created 1963 to 1986:
Champion Papers: Imagination.
Champion Paper Company found the best way to show the unlimited possibilities of the use of their paper stocks and they reached the “creatives” through their mailboxes. The art directors hired by Champion Paper Co. changed as the subjects of the books changed: Milton Glaser, Ivan Chermayeff & Geismar, George Tscherny, Henry Wolf, James Miho. Massimo Vignelli, Paul Rand and Richard Manville. The first booklets were printed in Ohio, where Champion Paper Co. was located.
There was such a variety of images and styles needed for each book—often just one image per artist or photographer was needed. For the sixth book (1964) Jack Allen said this was the image he sent for the theme of the “Wild West”.
For each brochure, using 5 or 6pt type on each page, the art director made sure that all papers and printing methods were accurately described for each image—still, today, valuable lessons. There were 26 of these paper samples.
As an example of the increasing value of well-designed books, folders, brochures, posters, magazine illustrations, from the past—there is a constant demand for them by collectors.
The purpose of the “Imagination” series is written on the inside back cover of this next example. “The papers used in this book were chosen from the Campion Papers line, the world’s largest selection of commercial printing papers. Each sheet was chosen for its particular characteristics to enhance the graphic technique presented on it. "Champion Papers are created with Imagination for designers and printers with Imagination.”
I have had most of these brochures but I have kept only this one, featuring San Francisco, that shows my friends in the graphic community—and views and history of the city of my birth. I find that this “Imagination XII” (1968), is the ONLY one that shows a handful of the members of the graphic community to which the sales-piece was directed. At the time of this twelfth booklet, the design was in the hands of James Miho, at Needham, Harper and Steers—located in New York City. Miho came here to work with photographer, Jack Allen and designer, Nic Sidjakov. They would know who’s faces to feature for the “live” notable persons—San Francisco’s designers, entertainers, sports figures, et all.
Jack said that, on arriving, Miho bought himself a camera. Miho shot the 64 photos of bay windows for the cover and the 28 photos for the two pages of “signs”. Then, for the next year and on he took his own photos for the publications.
The cover shows Miho’s SF bay windows.
The inside cover and first page is a Panoramic City View–Drawn by C. R. Parsons, initially published by Currier & Ives in 1878. The next page, from a Union Street antique shop, shows a light bulb holding a Clipper Ship, reaching the shore of San Francisco. Then, various sizes are examples of the ornate billheads of the early days. Also there are two 1850 photos of Montgomery Street. Next, at the top: “April 18th—1906—5:12 AM” and the description of the San Francisco Earthquake printed on red with only black ink: “Suddenly the whole street was undulating.” (Photographer unknown, courtesy of Elizabeth Charleston.)
Then with two inks on red, there is a photo from a simple box 3A Kodak Special taken on Sacramento Street by Arnold Genthe, who wanted to be one of the world’s best portrait photographers—but was known for this photo which is in the Library of Congress.
Single and four-color printing show examples of various building constructed from 1906 to the time of this booklet.
(Line Engravings of Early Buildings–courtesy of Howell Books.)
Frank Lloyd Wright Building, top row (Photograph by Jack Allen.)
Now we show two pages and two half pages of San Franciscans from history and some notables of our time.
I have enlarged the names to match the numbers above each photo.
Faces from history: Courtesy of the California Historical Society, de Young Museum, San Francisco Golden Gate Park and The American West Magazine.
Contemporary Faces: Photography, Jack Allen
The faces with the connection to the graphic arts:
17- Lowell Herrero, Graphic Designer
18-Andy Quattro, Graphic Printmaker
19-Bruce Butte, Graphic Designer
20-Anne Butte, Graphic Designer
25-Gordon Ashby, Designer
26-Jack Allen, Photographer
27-Nicolas Sidjakov, Graphic Designer
28-Tom Kamifuji, Graphic Designer
29-Elizabeth Charleston, Artist
32-Marget Larsen, Graphic Designer
41-Barbara Stauffacher, Graphic Designer
44-Dick Coyne, “Communication Arts” Editor/Publisher
48-Bob Freeman, Advertising Executive
49-Walter Landor, Industrial Designer
51-Bob Seidman, Graphic Designer
52- Bill Hyde, Graphic Designer
Jack Allen wrote:
One of the photographs I had to take was for Champion Papers. In this instance it was for a booklet showing their various papers and highlighting the famous people of San Francisco. Joe DiMaggio and Carole Doda being two on the list given to me. Now, Joe I recognized as the famous baseball player, but Carole was not familiar to me until I found out her address was North Beach and her claim to fame was the size of her chest as she emerged perched on the grand piano to begin her performance. Carole had a lovely voice. Andy Quattro, my God. Every year Andy and two other guys and myself used to go down to Pebble Beach and play golf. It only cost $35 then. Wow. And I let Andy use my studio when he was with lean times. He was a funny old duck.
"Marget Larsen" designed the SF Art Director's Club Issue for me and we silk-screened every copy on Foote Cone's floor. I fell in love instantly with Marget but Bob Freeman beat me out.
Good old Howard Luck Gossage. I had a wonderful 6 am chat with him at his house. He was a genius.
Ernest Braun. This photo showing the California Street cable car with the view to the east toward the SF/ Oakland Bay Bridge was first commissioned for the 1964 book: ”Our San Francisco”. Braun’s contribution, as series titled “Shapes Of The City” has an introduction by famed writer and columnist Herb Caen. Caen says of Braun, “The photographers have come closest to capturing the feel of San Francisco - and no one has come closer than Ernie Braun.”
His full biography is on line. Mr. Braun lived in San Francisco in the late 1940s, a town that he loved. “The history and geography of San Francisco simply won me over,” he said. “I loved its great contrast of shapes, colors, people, buildings, and happenings. Each street had its own character to enjoy. The bay and ocean completed the photographer’s dream. Surrounded by water on three sides, the city appeared to be floating.”
Two facing pages of signs of all kinds–even the instructions on the street surface, on both sides of the cable car slot. All of these photos were by James Miho.
Fish-Eye lenses became popular in the ‘60s! Here, the first one, is above the Golden Gate Bridge—the second is above Coit Tower and shows a ring of the wharfs on San Francisco Bay. Credit is listed to Joe Monroe. (I have not been able to find any other information of his work.)
Titled: “San Francisco is an international menu”—this next spread shows many popular city restaurants. I did show some of these on an earlier post, which brought comments of favorites that were in addition to these.
A 19th Century assemblage of playbills and theatrical memorabilia—opens to Theatre Construction—Robert Sullivan.
A foldout of sports subjects—Charles White III.
In 1960, at the age of 50, Elizabeth Charleston was in an automobile accident that limited her activities and mobility. She began painting for the first time while recovering. The late San Francisco Chronicle art critic, Alfred Frankenstein, reviewed a showing at the Pomeroy Gallery in 1968, and said Charleston had a "wonderful eye" for flowers — "totally charming, decorative and delectable”. Her works are available widely today, and have been shown in numerous museums and galleries in the US, Brussels, and Paris, This might have been her only commercial work.
The last photograph, “This peaceful harbor scene of sail-boats, dwarfed by the Golden Gate Bridge”: Photograph by Burt Glinn.
The copy on the inside back cover explains the back cover:
”To enhance the effect, an additional impression of black ink and spot varnish was used to give the impression of blacked out windows.”
Why? What I learned, when growing up, was that “blacked-out windows” referred to when San Francisco thought that the city was the next to be attacked. At that time, St. Joseph’s Hospital (now condominium apartments) at 355 Buena Vista East where I was born in December of 1941—had blackout curtains on the windows.
Was the designer just making a graphic design choice?
So, now, getting back to the question, “Should your child be in advertising?”
Today’s bombardment of TV, radio and Internet commercials are so repetitive, juvenile (with apologies to all juveniles) and possibly dangerous (even advertising medications that can cause death and add to the cost of the product)—all with tedious music or sound effects or voices singing “Liberty, Liberty, Liberty, Liberty, Liberty (Insurance)”. They make me mute the ads or change channels. Audiences are leaving TV for other media.
In a pharmaceutical ad agency, I did work on some internal video promotions. And I also created a storyboard for the launch of the new pain reliever, Aleve, but I never knew if it made it as TV viewing, maybe it was just an internal promotion.
I am glad to have the majority of my career in only printed publications.
The “Imagination” series above was an expensive, attractive and educational advertisement of papers. When graphic art in books, magazine, posters and other varied publications is—clever, beautifully illustrated, photographed and written—it can be revisited, saved and even collected more than fifty years after its first appearance.
My saved collections have been my source for Geezers’ Gallery.
Jack Allen — Ad Man + Photographer + Painter
Y&R New York As my old boss in New York used to say, “Where else can you have so much fun and get paid for it too”. Every morning I'd get on that Long Island train and head into New York. I usually got a place to sit from Levittown and I could get my sketches done and then I had a leisurely walk from Penn Station up to 39th and Madison. I could stay underground if it was raining. On a nice day it was beautiful. People watching and I got to see the latest Doyle Dane Bernbach's latest poster in the subway.
On a hot day it would be sweltering. There was no air conditioning in old 285. We would put towels under our arms to keep the sweat from ruining our drawing. Guerney Miller would pop in about 9:30. Guerney and I shared an office. He was our sketch artist and if our client demanded a more finished sketch Guerney was the man. At noon Guerney would bring out his guitar and have a jam session. That drew the music lovers.
When I went to New York, my uncle gave me three of his suits. He was a banker. Well, that’s how I looked, like a banker. Guerney made fun of me and took me down to J Press and got me a proper hat and of course a Brooks Brothers Suit and shoes to match. My wife would never let me hear the end of this. I must have worn that suit to bed.
One day I was sitting in the office I shared with Guerney, and Bob Hope walked in. I swear to god. Bob Hope.
He was doing some promo for the agency so the account executive thought he'd give the troops a thrill. What a thrill. We had a real conversation with him.
Later in life I met Bing Crosby and that kind of completed the two road boys.
It was strange being one on one with the stars of the galaxy like Irving Penn and Norman Rockwell. I never did get used to it.
A picture of yours truly in the headman's office in Y&R NY after we won the art director's award.
Of course the troops had to gather and it was all-new to the kid on the left.
Fred Sergenian 'Sarge' imagine telling him you were leaving Y&R and going back to California.
I still shudder. The guy on the right is Fred Papert, of Papert Koenig &Lewis fame to be.
There were 75 art directors at Y&R when I was there and a lettering man and a type-setter and a raft of production people and a little grey haired lady to usher the work through and three art buyers.
It was strange, but it worked just fine.
Telling my boss I was leaving was the most difficult thing I've ever done. I felt like a traitor. I still do.
San Francisco was warm and exciting. Foote, Cone & Belding was on the top floor of the Russ Building and when the wind blew the building swayed. I know because I worked there many nights.
The people in this story are Ford Sibly; head of office, George Richardson: head of S&W account team, Pete Peterson: Assistant Account Executive. George kept a bottle of booze in his desk for celebration and we managed to find a few times to celebrate. S&W let us run the show and we pushed it as far as we dared.
We got them to go with a full-page color ad in newspaper and got Herrero to design it. It won an award in the New York art directors annual. That made Joe Blumeline, our client, very happy. He felt he was getting his moneys worth. Meanwhile, Ford Sibly was sinking into alcoholism and head office was sending a new man out. Clients were scattering and heading for the door.
Honig-Cooper, sensing an opportunity, pounced on it.
I didn't like the idea of working for Honig-Cooper so I looked to Holst, Cumming & Myers, as they needed an Art Director. And they had a ton of Matson Lines work with two ships due to come on the South Pacific Route, and one more on the Hawaiian Route.
The map painted on the model’s forehead at the studio of Butte, Herrero and Hyde and then we rushed him to our studio and shot him.
We also did a photo shoot with two models to Hawaii and one of the models got measles and was confined to her cabin the whole trip so the other model had to carry double load. She was not happy
I worked day and night. When they turned the heat off in the building, I would take the drapes off the windows and catch a little sleep. It was fun work, designing menus and all sort of non-ad stuff.
Y&R San Francisco George Richardson invited me to his place in Novato. He was moving to Y&R (SF) and wanted me to come back to run the art department. I agreed since I was now, thru with Matson Lines. It's funny how the names kept changing on these agencies. Y&R was a great agency. Don Sternloff was head AD when I joined them and he was much loved by the troops. Which made me dog shit since the writing was on the wall.
I was teaching at the Academy of Art at night and I followed the old Art Center motto, drive them, hard. If they survived, they were keepers. I found two keepers: Mik Kitagawa and Dave Sanchez. I hired them.
Sternloff was let go and I was anointed. The agency had the number one show on the air, Maverick with James Garner as Maverick and that was pure gold in the advertising world. Plus we got Langendorf Bread and we turned Kaiser Industries loose on Mik and Dave. Our plates were full and we were completely busy DAY and NIGHT. Mik and Dave wondered what they had signed up for.
After a few years of this, it wears on you, and it wore on me. I developed an ulcer. I had told myself I would quit this business if I got sick, so I marched in and turned in my badge. They sent out an AD from NY, Mason Clark, and I went home to recoup. Now what do I do?
San Mateo Garage
Why don't I try photography? OK, I bought a Hasselblad and I was off. I got some models to pose for prints and rented a garage with a skylight in San Mateo. I cobbled a portfolio together and let it be known I was starving and got a call from Portland, Oregon. It was from my old friend, Pete Jenkins and it was work. Meyer and Frank wanted a series of NP ads hi-lighting M&F, full page too. I got a designer, Dick Snyder, and an Account Executive, Perry Leftwich –and I put a darkroom together in the garage. I hired models and when clothes arrived from Portland, we shot up a storm.
We designed ads and they wanted MORE. We were a hit. I had visions of forming an agency and we pitched Harrah's club. It went well and Bill Harrah wanted us but his ad manager got him to change his mind (the ad manager was afraid of losing his job) so we didn't get the account.
Dick Snyder had trouble with the free-lance world so we disbanded.
And Perry went back to salary.
M. Halberstadt Meanwhile, the photographer Milton Halberstadt invited me to lunch and suggested we might pool our talents. He had a beautiful studio in North Beach and I said yes, quicker than dirt.
At first we had fun—as Hal liked the sets he was so good at putting together—and I liked the people. So we fit well (Bank of America). And we enjoyed lunch at New Joes. And Hal was a Master Photographer so I was learning every day.
Chicago Rep, Jack Kapes Another thing fell out of the blue. Jack Kapes, an agent from Chicago. Jack was looking for photographers to represent. It seems Art Directors in Chicago would dearly love a trip to San Francisco to work with a San Francisco Photographer and get away from that Chicago cold.
And so it started. Leslie Salt Co, Cilux Paint, Champion Papers. They came out with their wives for a little vacation and of course we showed them the town. We were beat by the time they hauled anchor but richer by far and just like the Tea Trade, we had established a trade route. One of the fun ones I recall was when Pillsbury sent me to Jamaica and then I shot the cake at Hal's studio.
Vanderwater Studio As in many things, they don't always work as planned. Hal and I parted as friends and I moved to Vanderwater Street in my own studio, next to Veneto's Restaurant. Years of work came out this Studio.
More work in the very busy mid-1960s.
Eichler was a great one that got you a sure medal in the art show. Working with Sidjakov was such a pleasure. Pacific Telephone was another winner and putting Wally Summers in a phone booth as Superman, had to be my biggest thrill. Honig-Cooper surprised me when they hired me to shoot a Levi's series and the kids we hired turned out to be wonderful. One of the greatest AD's to work for was Hal Riney. You had to burn rubber as he was never satisfied but the work was superb and you could be very proud of it. The free ones were often the most exciting as the Christmas Card ad for BBD&O showing all their kids. It was like herding cats. But I loved it.
One Super Star that was champing at the bit was George Coutts. The Joseph Magnin AD had tons of talent. I had a few drinks with him on a late shoot one night and when I finally said good night and locked up, I went out to my car and dropped the keys in the street. I didn't see them so I got on my hands and knees and just then a police car came around the corner. He flashed the light on me. "Can I help you sir?" he said, ”I'm looking for my keys to my car”, I said. "You better not find them”, he said. One of the hazards of flying at night.
Sutter Street The Portland People at Dawson, Turner & Jenkins were putting pressure on me to start a branch of DT&J in San Francisco and sent a young fellow down to help in that endeavor. First we had to move to Downtown, Sutter Street. Then we had to get agency type furniture and all while photography was going on. Nude photography for Avon. I scoured the model files in SF but they were light on the right kind of nudes so I flew to Los Angeles, found a young lady that fit the bill and booked her. She arrived on a Monday and the clients arrived from Chicago and Sidjakov, the package designer arrived, and my assistants got to work and the young lady stripped. She had no modesty and said her parents were nudists and they had been that way as long as she could remember. We photographed uninterrupted.
Dawson Turner & Jenkins brought a political type pollster down to shake the tree on the Pete McCloskey race against Shirley Temple Black for Congress. He won. Again, I got a call from Dawson, Turner & Jenkins. They wanted a campaign of newspaper ads, full-page size.
Covering Meier and Frank’s “Jerry Frank” who was making a run for Governor. The success of this campaign led to an offer to move to Oregon and an “offer I couldn’t refuse”. The agency, Dawson, Turner & Jenkins, got swallowed up by Lennen & Newell, then somebody else, then Richardson, Seigle, Rolfs & McCoy became somebody else and Macy's bought out Meier & Frank–––and I started designing work for the Port of Vancouver:
and I figured it was time to retire.
By this time they had done a pretty good job of brainwashing on me as how beautiful Oregon was and I was resigned and my wife and I weren't getting along. (Old story) So we went.
Solo-ing It-In Oregon Tons of work. Had my own way, pretty much. Nice people.
Jk Gill’s, Oil Heat, Port of Vancouver, Blue Lake Green Beans.
Oregon. Oregon, what have I done? Left everything for the unknown. Politics, know the Governor, know the Senator, work on his campaign. Packwood's in trouble.
Work. Work. Jk Gill’s. A stationary store. A big stationary store. Many stores. Why not give it a cluttered look. I found a young artist that had a great "busy" look and had him do an ad. Perfect. And Newspaper ads for Kasch's Nurseries. White Satin Sugar: A perfect place for Herrero to strut his stuff. As well as sweet photos.
Oil Heat Dealers. A collection of dealers in Oregon, Washington and Idaho that service and sell heating oil to homes in the Northwest. Reminder ads that are visible, aught to do it.
A rumble this summer by hippies threatened to spill into riots. I suggested we put up a series of billboards that say, "WAVE TO A COP TODAY" –and sponsor a music festival in McIver Park (a mile away from downtown). It worked. I was also involved with "lighting the bridges in Portland" which taught me "stay away from Architects". The things I did with Frank Farah at this time: we designed and Frank illustrated the walls of the Bend, Oregon Bus Station. Quite something, in Bend.
The sale of agencies was humongous. I never knew who was going to be my boss on Monday morning. It got to be a joke. My friend that started this whole thing, Dick Turner, had jumped off Suicide Bridge. And Pete Jenkins, his partner, had taken his ill-gotten gains and fled to Europe.
I became an account executive and married one of the Oil Dealers that I was fortune enough to stay married to for 46 years until she died last year.
William Cain Advertising I met Bill Cain on one of our Oil Heat trips to Hawaii and looked him up when I got back to Oregon. Bill was the owner of William Cain Advertising and had just had a revolt from his crew and they had walked away with his star account. Nike. He did have another account, Louisiana Pacific so he wasn't totally wiped out and he needed an art director. What the hell. We had a good time I still had Port of Vancouver, Bill had Louisiana Pacific, and everything swam along. Until Bill decided to sell the agency– including "my Port"–– to Gerber Advertising.
Gerber Advertising After the dust had cleared, I agreed to work for Gerber for 10 years (I actually worked for twelve) In that time I produced ads for Louisiana Pacific Windows and many other products.
I retired at 65 to paint
I said to myself, "what am I going to do with myself when I retire?"
"But I don't paint"
So I tried. And my wife said, 'What are we going to do with all these paintings?"
I did 25 paintings a day.
I found a slow style. Wysoki
It was peaceful, fun and it was slow.
It took me a month to do a painting.
My wife said "good boy".
"Now let's get rid of this painting.
So I called a Jigsaw puzzle company and soon I was painting another one.
I've now done 96.
They rejected most for being too salty.
But happy wife, happy life
–that tuned in jigsaw puzzles.
Politics. That is what I would say most typifies Oregon. Small-town Politics.
I learned to love the people and the quirks and the laid back life.
Looking back I suppose what we did isn't so important but it sure was exciting and alive. We were making beautiful statements and bringing art and commerce together in a new, bold way.
We can be proud of the work we did and now that I'm out to pasture, I can see the work we did is so much superior to much that is done now because it mattered to us. Our 1/8 of an inch made all the difference in the world and was worth fighting for.
Thank you, Ann and Piet, for shining the light on the 50's and 60's.
We welcome your comments on this story or to say hello to Jack. All comments will be reviewed before forwarding to Jack.
I don't know if Jack remembers, but he called me at KPIX and offered me the job as AD at Y&R.( I was in his ad class at the Academy) I got Mik (Kitagawa) the Job at KPIX and told him about the offer, and if I don't get the job maybe you will. So I helped him pull his portfolio together and we both applied for the one job, on the same day, with Jack. We were so inexpensive he could hire us both for the same money.
Writing That Gets Read.
What I miss most about the world of today’s advertising is the eye-catching, thought provoking Headlines of the Golden Age.
I guess, Volkswagen started a lot of it with one word, Lemon.
I am enclosing some ads here that I feel are examples of what seems to be missing. My ego won’t allow me to tell you who wrote these ads but I will acknowledge the Art Directors and Photographers who played a big part in helping me create them.
Agency: McCann Erickson (San Francisco)
1 Del Monte — Art Director: Jon Hyde; Photographer: Ed Zak
2 YOSEMITE — Art director: Jon Hyde, Photographer: John Muir
3 AIRPORT HILTON — Art Director: Jerry Leonhart; Illustrator: Chris Corey
4 SKIING AT YOSEMITE — Art Director: Jon Hyde; Illustrator: Larry Duke
5 McNevin Cadillac — Art Director: Bruce Campbell
6 THINK. DON’T DRINK. — Art Director: Jon Hyde
Another quick tale:
I once did a B.A.R.T. poster for MasterCard and the headline said;
Bay Area Rapid Transaction.
Advertiser: MasterCharge – San Francisco
Advertising Mgr.: Rick Wynne
Agency: Foote, Cone & Belding / Honig – San Francisco
Art Director: Kris English
It took up a wall in the BART stations. It won an Award so I asked photographer Ed Zak for a copy of the poster. In typical Ed Zak style he said he would have to charge me $25. to make a copy. Zak was one of a kind.
Oh yeah…sure…put that photo in.
It’s the first one I’ve liked in about 20 years.